A Will to Choose

The Origins of African American Methodism

By (author) Gordon J. Melton

Publication date:

23 February 2007

Length of book:

330 pages

Publisher

Rowman & Littlefield Publishers

ISBN-13: 9780742552647

A Will to Choose traces the history of African-American Methodism beginning with their emergence in the fledgling American Methodist movement in the 1760s. Responding to Methodism's anti-slavery stance, African-Americans joined the new movement in large numbers and by the end of the eighteenth century, had made up the largest minority in the Methodist church, filling positions of authority as class leaders, exhorters, and preachers. Through the first half of the nineteenth century, African Americans used the resources of the church in their struggle for liberation from slavery and racism in the secular culture.
Melton has given us an excellent history of a heretofore scarcely-documented theme. It is light enough that it is hard to put down and deep enough to refer to again and again. This work will be a classic of American church history.